The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced eight deaths occurred this week, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths to 14 since October 1, 2017. The strain is considered especially unsafe to young children and older adults over the age of 65.
It is never too late to get a flu shot to prevent influenza.
Werker, Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer, says the flu can take very many forms during the flu season.
"We are also seeing a lot of people dying from the flu", Alvarez said.
The vaccine may be less effective against H3N2 strains because it's manufactured in chicken eggs, which some recent research has shown interact with H3 strains, making them less like the circulating strain and therefore less effective. Therefore, in any given year, what dictates the overall effectiveness of the flu in any given person are a combination of the age of the patient and their overall health, especially as it pertains to their immune system.
They called that number "alarming" because it's so early in the season.
Ohio's flu incidence has been widespread for weeks and is accelerating, with 1,750 new hospitalizations just last week.More news: Tonya Harding's estranged mother disputes I, Tonya portrayal
According to doctors, typically flu symptoms tend to start faster and are a little more severe than your common cold.
"So we're not yet in peak season and what we're hearing from hospitals across the state is that they have no extra beds and they are full of patients that have influenza like symptoms", Cartter said. No influenza-related child deaths have been reported in New Hampshire as of December 30, the most recent data avaialble from the state. Doctors advise everyone to: cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing, stay at home when you or your child is sick for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone, and wash your hands as frequently as possible.
But, he cautioned, we are right in the middle of flu season.
"Even though the vaccine isn't as effective this season as it has been in the past, it helps your body to create protective antibodies that protects against other strains of the flu", said Dr. Brendan De Marco, associate director of infection control for CommUnityCare Health Centers.
Parkland Hospital in Dallas has seen nearly 1,000 people coming to their emergency department seeking treatment.
"Influenza vaccine is still available and people can still get immunized".